Two games stand in the way of the Wisconsin women’s hockey team and its fifth national title. It all starts Friday night at 7 p.m., when the Badgers take on the Colgate Raiders in the national semifinals at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis.
The Frozen Four is a mix of old and new. Clarkson and Wisconsin, the top two seeds in the tournament, played in last season’s national title match-up and account for six total national championships.
Clarkson and Wisconsin will face Ohio State and Colgate, respectively, two teams making their first Frozen Four appearances. In fact, this is the first year either team has qualified for the NCAA tournament.
For Colgate, it started with the 2015–16 season, when the Raiders crossed the 20-win threshold for the first time. They haven’t looked back since. This season was spectacular as they went 33–5–1, including a similar record to Wisconsin against their limited common opponents (6–2–0 for Colgate and 9–1–1 for Wisconsin).
Wisconsin has a rich, albeit outdated, history in the Frozen Four. All-time, the Badgers are 11–6 in Frozen Four games and they hold national titles from 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2011. However, since that 2011 title, their Frozen Four record has dropped off; they are only 2–5. On the other hand, four of those losses came by the hands of Minnesota, which Wisconsin already eliminated from this year’s tournament.
One other item to watch is the familiarity of playing at Ridder Arena. Wisconsin and Ohio State both played there a few weeks ago, and it seems that the boards are quite a bit more lively than what Colgate and Clarkson usually see. Will Wisconsin and Ohio State be able to jump out to early leads as Colgate and Clarkson get settled?
When and where is the game?
Colgate and Wisconsin will face off 7 p.m. CT at Ridder Arena in Minneapolis. They will follow the 4 p.m. semifinal match-up between Clarkson and Ohio State.
How can I watch?
The game will be broadcast on BTN.
How can I stream the game online?
How can I listen to it on the radio?
Wisconsin players to watch
Abby Roque: The sophomore sensation slumped at the end of the regular season, but awoke in a big way in postseason play. She set up two of Wellhausen’s goals back in the Final Face-off and scored two critical goals in the quarterfinals against Minnesota at LaBahn Arena.
Baylee Wellhausen: The senior captain has had a lot of success in Ridder Arena. Look for her to come up with a big goal as her collegiate career draws to a close.
Kristen Campbell: Each Frozen Four team features an excellent goaltender, so the national champion will likely be on the shoulders of a goalie who stands on her head. Campbell leads the nation in shutouts, and she just shut out the Gophers. If Wisconsin can eliminate its opponents’ high-percentage shots, Campbell certainly can take Wisconsin to the promised land.
The competition at Ridder Arena for the Frozen Four is going to be intense, as it should be. If Roque, Wellhausen, and Campbell all play their best, expect Wisconsin to come home with its first NCAA championship in seven years.
And if that happens, expect a few more to follow.